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Still Blue Where It Counts

  When the republicans finished their version of a political "carpet bombing" Tuesday night, Illinois' bleary-eyed citizens awakened to see the democratic party wreckage. 

 The dems lost the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by President Barack Obama in their most embarassing loss of the night.

  Certainly three and possibily four members of the party's congressional delegation (11th, 14th, 17th, 8th?) had been ousted and a fifth seat (10th) the democrats thought they could wrest away from the republicans didn't budge. 

  The republicans now comprise a majority of the Illinois delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives.

  The Treasurer's and Comptroller's offices fell by wide margins, giving the G.O.P. its first Illinois "constitutional" victories in eight years.

  But the smoke rising from the debris has an unmistakable blue tint.

  It appears incumbent democratic Governor Pat Quinn has survived the barrage.   And peeking out of the rubble, we also see House Speaker Michael Madigan and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton.  

  Enough democratic lawmakers withstood the G.O.P. onslaught to maintain the party's majorities in both chambers.

  So here we go again. 

  The democrats will control the the Governor's office and the 97th General Assembly.  Incredibly, the people of Illinois have given the party another chance to enact a real strategy to attack the state's fiscal crisis.

  And judging by their votes to re-elect Quinn, the majority is willing to accept a tax increase and more borrowing as part of the budget-balancing effort.  In fact, the state Senate will re-convene this week during the "veto session" to pass a $4.1 billion dollar borrowing bill (bond issue) to pay the state's 2010/11 pension obligation.

  An income tax increase is likely to be high on the agenda when the regular session convenes in January and there's little the republicans can do to stop it.

  So while the new republican United States senator and Illinois' new republican congressmen pledge to fight for lower taxes and less federal spending when they arrive in Washington, mostly the same folks-- dominated by democrats--will return to the state capitol.

  And in the near term, where Illinois taxpayers' pocketbooks are concerned...

  ...Springfield is where it counts. 




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